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Challenge

Calix Ltd. is a leading global innovator of industrial solutions that address global sustainability challenges.

Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement (LEILAC) is a patented indirect heating process that enables the use of renewable energy in the production of lime and cement, and the geometry of its unique, tubular reactor offers a novel pathway for the capture of high purity CO2 (currently a significant source of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions).

CaO (quicklime) is known to become sticky under certain temperature regimes and, if allowed to form large agglomerates, hinders calcination.

While particle stickiness is a somewhat unavoidable state, the team at Calix believed that a better understanding of the actual clustering mechanisms in its tubular reactor would accelerate the development and validation of practical design implementations to limit the size and frequency of agglomerate formation.

Solution

Research expertise in gas-particle interaction models and the experimental capability to resolve fast particle dynamics were required; the Centre for Energy Technology at the University of Adelaide (UoA) had both.

With the support of an AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Programme Innovation Connections Researcher Placement grant, the collaboration between Calix and UoA was underway within three weeks of engaging with the local Innovation Facilitator. The team at UoA was able to benchmark reactor performance with leading edge diagnostics, experimentally resolve clustering pathways in the flash calcination reactor, and theoretically probe the efficacy of proposed design interventions by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling.

Outcome

Calix has developed valuable intellectual property and increased confidence in technical understanding for Calix’ technology with key partners. The project was influential in reaching a Heads of Agreement with Adelaide Brighton for a 30,000 tonnes per annum lime plant in Australia, with CO2 capture. A second Innovation Connections project is underway to monitor real-world design changes in the full-scale reactor.

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